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1922-2022 A yearlong celebration marking WKAR's 100th anniversary of service to the mid-Michigan and Spartan communities

Mid-Michigan Community Celebrates WKAR 100th Anniversary

Tour guests in TV studio
Amanda Pinckney
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WKAR-MSU
WKAR Sr. Director of Development Melanie McGuire with tour guests in Studio C, where Off the Record with Tim Skubick is recorded each week. Michigan’s only statewide public affairs program celebrates 50 years on the air in 2022.

Nearly 400 community members recently visited WKAR Public Media to commemorate one hundred years of service to the mid-Michigan and Spartan communities.

The Community Celebration took place August 20, 2022, at WKAR on the campus of Michigan State University. Guests received an inside look at WKAR television, radio, and digital production studios.

"We are so grateful to the many who have helped us inform, educate, and inspire the community for 100 years," said Shawn Turner, WKAR interim general manager and director of broadcasting. "We hope participants walk away from their visit with us excited about what the next 100 years hold for WKAR – and for our community."

Visitors met local on-air personalities and the talented people who work behind the scenes to bring award-winning original programming, local news, and the best from PBS and NPR to mid-Michigan.

The day included a short program hosted by Turner acknowledging a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and a Special Tribute to WKAR signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

Sparty and students on stage
Amanda Pinckney
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WKAR-MSU
Sparty congratulates Boys and Girls Club of Lansing members who participated in the WKAR Public Media Career Exploration program.

Boys and Girls Club of Lansing members who participated in the WKAR Public Media Career Exploration program received certificates of completion from WKAR Director of Education Robin Pizzo.

Tour guests spin for prizes
Amanda Pinckney
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WKAR-MSU
Tour guests spin for prizes in WKAR television Studio A.

Families and friends enjoyed ice cream while exploring fun science activities with WKAR Family and the Curious Crew. While making buttons or picking up a free book, fans also had the chance to take pictures with Sparty and PBS KIDS® characters SuperWhy! and Daniel Tiger.

Daniel Tiger with fans
Amanda Pinckney
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WKAR-MSU
Daniel Tiger meets fans of the PBS KIDS favorite, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

WKAR 90.5 and WKAR NewsTalk broadcast live during the festivities, including an hour of special features and guests.

Tour guests in radio studio
Amanda Pinckney
/
WKAR-MSU
Tour guests meet classical host Jody Knol in WKAR radio studio E.

“The radio staff and I enjoyed meeting new listeners as well as reconnecting with longtime friends of WKAR,” said Drew Henderson, senior director of broadcast operations. “I’m also proud that visitors had a chance to see the work we’ve been doing in NextGen Television during their tour of our facility. We’ve come a long way over the last 100 years!”

The Community Celebration was the second of two special events in the anniversary week to kick off a yearlong celebration. The first, a gathering of community leaders and special guests, was held on Aug. 18.

The Century of Service celebration continues through June 2023 and will include historical highlights shared on WKAR television, radio, and online; and additional community events, both in-person and virtual.

MSUFCU is the lead underwriter of WKAR’s Century of Service. Additional support is provided by Consumers Energy.

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